The Brook’s first beer festival

‘Advert’ – The Brook has previously advertised on the Cambridge Foodies blog. On this occasion some of the food provided by The Brook was provided at no charge. No conditions were given on attending. The food at Oreno was not provided free and fully paid for. Everything written is accurate and our unbiased opinion’. For more information on our policy, click here

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of The Brook, especially after I discovered some of the best biryani’s in town at their pub. Since my review, the team reached out to advertise their up and coming beer festival on our blog. I was keen to visit, not just because of the wide selection of beers and traditional Indian food but also due to the mention of some popular food vans turning up for the day. It was clearly a day with so much to explore!

Check out my short video on my visit by clicking on the image above

The entire garden was turned into a beer festival. Even the car park was cleared for the food vans. The pub inside was business as usual, so the regulars could still watch the sport and drink the usual brands of beers (but had the option to join in as they pleased). There was a great selection of ale, bitters, and stouts at the outside bar. I even noticed a few local beers, such as ‘Oakham Ale’ that hails from Peterborough. You may notice that this is a Greene King pub but the landlord told me that they have the freedom to buy outside of their range.

I decided to go for the ‘Happy & Glorious’ by ‘New River’. This is a 4.2% ale from a brewery located in Hertfordshire. This was quite a pleasant and smooth bitter that went down well in the sun.

Summer is here!

The menu had 9 choices of Indian ‘street food’ available. The starters hovered around £6 and the mains were £10. The only main options were two types of biryani dish (one chicken and one paneer cheese) but there was a lot of starter choices, including a few things I had never seen before, including the ‘egg puff’.

We started off on the ‘samosa chaat’. This is an excellent take on a dish that I have only discovered recently. The curried lentil based dish with yogurt and pomegranate has a light, refreshing taste with vivid flavours. A samosa is broken up into the dish in small pieces giving it a flakey crunch. A perfect summer dish that is as delicious as it is visually pleasing…and only £6.

We also tried the paneer and the chicken biryani. Just like our last visit, the biryani was delicious with a deceptively deep flavour. I was particularly fond of the chicken on the bone that was hiding within the rice. The dish looks dry by eye but manages to pull off the trick of being very succulent on the bite.

The ‘Pav Bhaji’ is one of my favourite dishes and is another one that I have only recently discovered a few weeks ago at my trip to Tawa. This is essentially curry and a bread roll. It’s a simple concept but works so well. For £6, it’s an absolute bargain too!

I never got a chance to try the ‘egg puff’ but it was well received across the table. These are exactly as the name suggests…an egg in a pastry. We were also given some ‘chicken tikka pakora’ served with a yogurt sauce. These tasted fine but were a little dry but great finger food to share.

Egg puff

A small local business called ‘AT Bakes’ had a stall and was offering a selection of cakes and desserts. We decided to pick up some tiramisu and cheesecake. These were presented in plastic containers that made them easy to eat on the go (in a beer garden).

Sadly one of the food vans could not make the day but Oreno was still there. I was very excited to see them here as I have had them on my radar for a while now but for one reason or another they always managed to escape me.

The menu was quite small, offering California Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, and Veggie rolls for sushi options, as well as some Japanese grill options. There is also a choice to have a poke bowl which is one of my favourites.

The food at Oreno is made fresh, so you order and come back when it’s ready. This took about ten minutes but with Japanese food freshness is everything, especially with sushi, so it’s worth the wait. The poke bowl was executed perfectly. It came with radishes, avocado, edamame beans, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, and grilled chicken. What I love most about the poke bowl is how visually pleasing it is and is also great to eat on the go. I was particularly fond of the grilled chicken. Delicious and healthy!

For sushi, we ordered the Spicy Tuna Roll and the California Roll. The California Roll was a lot smaller than what I am usually served but it was much longer, so likely balances out. Being not numerous and smaller made it much easier to eat and share between people which is going to be quite likely at an event like this. Everything was presented well and tasted great.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day at The Brooks first beer festival. The wide range of beers, the fantastic food, the weather, and the lovely set up in the back garden. I couldn’t fault a thing. I look forward to their next one coming up in the summer.

Thanks for reading.